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Two Sticks Prophecy

written by Asher Intrater
December 27, 2012

In Ezekiel 37:15-23 the prophet is instructed to take two sticks and write on one: “For Judah and the sons of Israel, his companions” and on the other, “For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and the whole house of Israel.” Then he is to join the two sticks in his hand, symbolizing the healing of the separation between the two. This parable originates in the split between the sons of Leah (Judah) and Rachel (Joseph); then in the generation after Solomon, the entire kingdom was divided, the southern one called “Judah” and the northern one “Israel.”

There are many spiritual applications of this prophecy. For example, in 1948 the modern state was named Israel, not Judah. Secular Israelis tend to use the name “Israel,” whereas the religious tend to use the name “Jew” or “Judah”. The Prime Minister often struggles to bring unity between secular and religious; left wing and right.

The Hebrew for “stick” in this passage is עץ “ets”, which is the same word for “wood” or “tree.” The passage could also be understood as bringing “two trees into one.” This provides a background for Paul’s description in Romans 11 of different types of branches being grafted into one olive tree.

The Judah stick contained the “sons of Israel,” while the Joseph stick included the “whole house of Israel.” This extended “house of Israel” may also be the context for Paul’s statement in Ephesians 2:12 that Gentile believers from all the nations become part of the greater “commonwealth of Israel.” 

Ezekiel 37:25 states that the unity between the two trees or sticks will be fulfilled eternally in the Messianic kingdom on earth. The ultimate completion of this prophecy will be found in the millennial kingdom after Yeshua returns.

The parable indicates God’s desire for unity among His people. It was Ezekiel’s job as prophet to intercede on behalf of that unity. There is an ongoing spiritual battle in which evil forces try to divide the kingdom of God (Luke 11:17). Godly people in every generation find themselves standing in the gap between two groups, holding on to one in the right hand and one in the left.

The Two Sticks is an essential link in the end-times prophecies about the Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37), Gog and Magog (38-39) and the Messianic Kingdom (40-48). The intercession to hold on to seemingly contradictory dimensions of the kingdom of God requires effort and perseverance in the face of much opposition. Let us grasp the two sticks in our hands, as we pray according to the spirit as Ezekiel did.

Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.

He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.

Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.

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